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Annette Bongiorno Claimed Not to Have Known that Backdating was Illegal
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It is important for business ethics that there be accountability. Annette Bongiorno has been accused by prosecutors of arranging for fake trades to be recorded in customer accounts using historical stock prices, concealing the fact that no trading was taking place at all in the firm’s investment advisory business. Longtime assistant to Bernard Madoff, Annette Bongiorno testifyed in her own defense and The Chicago Tribune reported that, during her 40 year career, Bongiorno never knew she was aiding Madoff in his massive scheme. She reported that her duties included backdating trades and turning stocks into bonds.

Bloomberg News has reported that also on trial with Annette Bongiorno are former director of operations Daniel Bonventre, Joann Crupi who managed clients’ investment accounts, and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez.

  
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All five defendants have said they were unaware that Bernie Madoff, who pleaded guilty without standing trial and is serving a 150-year prison sentence, was running a Ponzi scheme. Even though Bongiorno was employed since on or about July 1968, according to www.justice.gov, Bernie Madoff is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, and the admitted operator of a Ponzi scheme that is considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. The scam defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars.

“He told me what to do,” Annette Bongiorno said, referring to Bernie Madoff. Bongiorno stated in Manhattan federal court that “If I didn’t, it’s because I forgot — I was scared,” according to Bloomberg News.

Annette Bongiorno testified that her Madoff investment accounts held approximately $50 million collectively at the time the scam collapsed and according to Bloomberg News, Bernard Madoff claimed he alone orchestrated his $65 billion scam. According to the prosecution Madoff and his accomplices created false records and invented exotic trading schemes to explain the firm’s consistent high returns. In fact “the truth was that Madoff and his co-conspirators – with very rare exception – were not making any trades at all,” the indictment said.

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